Whether you’re brand new to the event, or a seasoned veteran looking for a little more information about this year’s event, we’ve got everything you need to know about Halloween Horror Nights 25. Part One of the guide will focus on the haunted houses and the scare zones. Tomorrow, Part Two will have everything else, from food to ticketing to the exclusive Horror Nights tours. Also keep your eyes out for a review of the 2015 houses Friday morning!
Asylum in Wonderland 3D
This bright and colorful trip down the rabbit hole is sure to take the classic Lewis Carol story and turn it on its head. Using a 3D effect that makes some colors appear closer and some further away, guests will have to find their way back out the rabbit hole. Expect a classic spinning tunnel and lots of trippy imagery.
While this one may be a little lighter on the themeing, expect a few “how did they do that” moments. 3D houses generally use a lot of misdirection and hiding in plain sight to startle guests. As long as they give us fully fleshed out sets and not just 3D painted backdrops, the theme and characters of this one will make it a winner.
Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears
Guests will find themselves contestants on a deathly 1980s game show. Trapped inside another past HHN favorite, HellGate Prison, they’ll have to escape from trained assassins. The assassins, or Reapers, only mission is to excite the audience at home by ending the contestants game in the most gristly ways possible.
This house should be lighter on the themeing as well, but I fully expect it to be the most intense house of the event. Lots of chain link fences, loud music, and hopefully chainsaws will keep guests on high alert the whole time
Body Collectors: Recollections
This house brings together two longtime Horror Nights favorites, the Body Collectors, and Shadybrook Asylum. This time around, the Collectors have descended upon the halls of the asylum to claim the body parts they require. A fierce blizzard outside the walls of Shadybrook should create an very exciting locale.
I fully expect this to be the goriest house of the year. When your logo is splashed with blood, you can bet they’ll be some serious carnage inside. I’ve never had the chance to experience either of the properties inside this house, but from everything I’ve been told, the setting and characters in this one will be dynamite.
Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters & Mayhem
Halloween Horror Nights’ most beloved icon, Jack the Clown, releases the storied and terrifying history of the event upon guests in this greatest hits house. Some of the already announced throwbacks include The Forsaken, Scary Tales, Leave it to Cleaver, and Nightingales. Don’t expect anything more than a loose story line tying each unique themed room together. Guests will have to fight off classic Universal Monsters, traverse famed rooms from events past, and other crazed maniacs. The house is in a soundstage that’s twice the size of the one that held last year’s The Walking Dead, the largest ever house at the event. Expect this house to be quite long, somewhere in the six-plus minute range.
This house is the biggest wild card to me, as I’ve heard conflicting reports on past greatest hits houses. It’ll have a hard time winning “Best House” over the others that have more solid storylines. That being said, its length and the best scenes from years past should make this a house that’ll need multiple walk-throughs to really appreciate everything it’ll have to offer.
An American Werewolf in London
Another returning fan favorite, Werewolf returns to the event, just two years after it first debuted. Based on the 1981 horror classic, this house will put guests into all the classic moments from the film. Making their way through The Slaughtered Lamb, The London Underground, and Picadilly Circus, they’ll dodge realistic werewolf puppets at every turn.
I’ve had the chance to experience this house last time around in 2013, as well as the Hollywood version last year. It sounds like it will be nearly identical to the 2013 house (which is great news as that house was one of the best in the history of the event), with an updated and expanded werewolf pack.
Freddy Vs Jason
Two classic horror characters will wage war as guests make their way from the shores of Camp Crystal Lake to 1428 Elm Street. Expect many of the classic, bloody kills from the films.
Last year’s Alien Vs Predator was more of an Alien and Predator house, with a strong lack of actual fighting between the two creatures. Hopefully this year HHN will pit the two titular characters against each other and place the guests in the middle of the action. If they do, this house could be another classic as the property and location in a soundstage lend themselves to an extremely well done house.
Horror Nights on both coasts have really clamped onto this property in the last couple of year. Last year the franchise was present in a scare zone and entrance show on both coasts. This year, The Purge takes over the Terror Tram in Hollywood, and gets its own house in Orlando. The theme is very simple: guests will enter a residence and from then on, they’ll be bombarded by those yearning to “purge” their souls on the one day a year when all crime is legal.
I’m conflicted on this one. On one had, the theme really lends itself to an HHN house, but there really aren’t any memorable scenes that stand out from the films. This should give the creators free reign with the theme to give the fans something awesome, but we could end up with a generically themed home full of actors in cheap masks.
A veteran property of the Horror Nights Hollywood event, Insidious makes its way to Orlando for the first time. Based on the three films of the same name, this house will take guests through each chapter, entering the Further, a realm of the afterlife.
A lot of fans are calling this house the dark horse favorite for this year’s event. With its supernatural story, we should see less gore, and more of an eerie atmosphere throughout the house. Located in the same location as last years Halloween, their similar settings tell us we’re in for a treat.
The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead
AMC’s hit show is returning to Horror Nights for a fourth straight year. Returning to the location where its second iteration, this year’s house should be done on a smaller scale than last year’s epic house. Hopefully the smaller size will condense the house and cut out any potential filler, leaving just memorable scenes like the flooded food bank basement.
I’ve been watching the Walking Dead since the show premiered, but even I’m finding the brand a little long in the tooth. This season had a couple memorable moments, but you can only be scared by zombies so many times…
The residents of the nearby Shadybrook Sanitarium have escaped from their crashed transport bus and begun to terrorize a neighborhood Halloween block party. The zone will provide a great contrast between the family-friendly Halloween decorations hung on the buildings, and the Shadybrook patients. Horror Nights has already promised this will be one of the goriest zones of all time, so don’t be surprised to see little blood.
This zone harkens back to classic Halloween; pumpkins, scarecrows, bats, all around guests, and all out for blood. Expect a very atmospheric zone with a great tree canopy and an excellent lighting package.
This zone, while it may be light on the scares, will provide guests with a great opportunity to snap a photo with some of the classic characters of Horror Nights past, including Jack the Clown. Last year featured a similar character driven zone in this area, which became affectionally known as a “selfie zone” because of how the actors spent more time taking photos with guests than they did scaring them.
Scary Tales: Screampunk
Located between Despicable Me and Shrek 4D, this narrow scare zone will bring classic fairy tales to life with a steampunk twist. Zones in this area of the park are usually sparsely themed as all props have to be moved out into the park between park close and HHN opening. Instead the zone should rely on great costume design and stilt-walkers towering over guests.
All Night Die-In: Double Feature
This scare zone will bring the monsters and killers off the screen of the Carey Ohio Drive-In and out to roam among the cars and guests. There will be two casts (hence the name), one completely black and white and one in full color costumes. The way they’ll use the movie screen in the transition between the two casts should be be something worth waiting around for.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at everything else you need to know about the event, from the live shows, to the ticketing options and Express Passes. Special thanks to Kaila Olsen, Brandon Glover, Peter Mangiafreno, and Derek Burgan for their assistance with this article.